The Magical World of Letter Writing as Told by Harry Potter (Co-written with Inkcoverdhands)

There is nothing quite like it. The smell, the feel, the sheer joy it brings you . . . no, I don’t mean pizza.  Nor do I mean books, old and new. I am referring to that whimsical, giddy feeling of getting a letter in the mail! Remember when you were younger and every birthday would bring a card in the mail from some far away relative? Or maybe think back to the middle school pen pal you had that one summer. Magical wasn’t it?

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Ah, the feels. Why would you ever NOT write letters? Sadly, We think we know the reasons. Much to our dismay, our Hogwarts letters never came and after that the mailbox seems to hold only disappointment for the rest of our lives. Bills, coupons for shops you never go to, and junk mail . . . oooooh the junk mail. Nowadays, the magic of receiving a letter has been lost. (Blame Nargles)

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Therefore, the task falls to us. The Potter Generation. Will you continue to let the dark forces of instant communication win? Or will you stand and fight/write?! Your pen is your wand! But remember, no witch or wizard would ever succeed without proper education. So, before you go, here are 6 ways to get started!

#1. Select the right writing tool

-quill and ink:

– fountain pen:

– pencil / modern pen (no shame)

-typewriter

Which one you use doesn’t really matter.  just do what feels right!  If you’re going for the old timey wizarding world feel, go with a quill, or even a fountain pen.  If you have the awesome fate of being left-handed, or couldn’t use a quill if you tried, a ballpoint pen is probably your best bet.  If  you’d rather use both hands to transfer your thoughts to paper, go with a typewriter.  Don’t feel married to the implement.  The wand may choose the wizard, but the writer can use whatever tool he or she wants.

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#2. Find Eager Correspondence Buddies

  • This step is easiest when you actually have close friends in far off places.  There are just some things you can’t capture with a snapchat war or a facebook message the length of a book.  If you’re in a place that’s more far off than others, your friends would probably love a postcard that lets them know just how much cooler your life is at the moment than theirs.  Then they can return the favor when they go someplace like China (narrows eyes at Cheylove).

#3. Start an Address Book

  • Collecting addresses is a lost art.  Most of us probably can’t even remember our best friends’ phone numbers without pulling out the trusty(ish) smartphone, let alone remember their street addresses (but you could probably get there in your sleep, let’s be real).  But there comes a time when you just CAN’T keep holding on to old envelopes for the return addresses, and your poor owl refuses to wander the entire city of London hunting gingers.  Whether your address book is physical or virtual, you will be thankful to have those addresses.  How else are you supposed to keep up a meaningful correspondence, or drop in for a surprise visit?

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#4. Have Stationery That Slays

  • Cool stationery is, thanks to the interwebs, much closer than a trip to Flourish and Blot’s.  In fact, nerdy stationery to suit your every fandom need is merely a Google search away.  All you need is access to a color printer.  The better the stationery, the more eager you’ll be to use it!

#5. Purchase owl treats (Muggles know them as stamps)

  • This is a pretty self explanatory step.  Your letter won’t go far without proper postage. Bonus: if you have a friend from another country you can now start that stamp collection you’ve always dreamed of.

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#6. Get Some Inspiration

– Even with the right tools and people, the physical act of writing a letter can be daunting for a beginner.  Don’t be intimidated by literary letter writing examples.  No one’s expecting you to write like Mr. Darcy.  Think more along the blunt and bumbling lines of Ron Weasley, and you’ll be in good shape.  Just write things you want to tell your friend.  Whether it’s your reaction to the latest episode of Downton Abbey (ALL the Bates and Hughes/Carson feels!) or your excitement over the return of the Wizarding world to the silver screen (Eddie Redmayne is FLAWLESS).  Or, you know, you can warn them about the Dark Lord hunting them down even as I type this post.  It’s up to you.

For even more inspiration, you can try out this new item from The Lavish Language Lady Etsy Shop (owned by moi, CheyLove). For $15, you can have a personalized letter sent to yourself or a friend from their favorite literary character! Feel like starting off your correspondence with a bang? Why not surprise your pen pal with a lovely piece of parchment, all sealed with wax and filled with some creative writing done with them in mind. Fancy receiving a letter from Mr. Darcy? Jo March? or Minerva McGonagall? No problem! Click the picture to see the listing on Etsy!

Letter from Minerva

Our parting advice, don’t be afraid! Remember that nobody’s perfect, especially when it comes to communicating our feelings. Writing letters is hardly a science, and sometimes what was meant to be a happy “this is what’s happening in my life” note to a friend turns into a diary entry that must NEVER EVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY.  If that happens, don’t sweat it.  That’s why you’re writing a letter, not a text message. In the end, it doesn’t matter how well you wordsmithed. It matters that you took the time to create something, try something new, and ultimately . . . communicate with another human! Because in the end, it’s all about the friendship.
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